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www.red11.org DAILY NEWS
Date: Sat Apr 03 07:35:19 GMT+00:00 1999
Mail: barry@www.red11.org

This Issue:
2. Preview V Wimbledon
3. Wimbledon  travel help
6. Nobby Stiles - Independent
7. Kids lose unbeaten record
8. United to stay ahead
9. Change good as rest for United


Daily RED Trivia  Sat 3rd April 1999:

Harry Stafford made his debut against Darwen. Stafford was a an energetic Full-back
who joined Newton Heath from Crewe Alexandra. He was their first captain, and it was
his efforts, including personal investment and befriending of businessman John Henry
Davies, that enabled Manchester United to arise from the ruins of Newton Heath. He
made 200 appearances between 1896-1902, and became Director and Groundsman of the
new club upon his retirement. 

Uniteds Bobby Charlton scores the winner for England as they beat Spain
1-0 at Wembley in the European Championship Quarter-Finals. 

Two Gordon Hill strikes help beat Derby County 2-0 in the FA Cup Semi-Final
at Hillsborough watched by 55,000. Team was: Stepney, Forsyth, Houston, Daly,
Greenhoff, Buchan, Coppell, McIlroy, Pearson, McCreery, Hill.

Barry Daily Comment:
Match today live in Scandinavia on Canel+ 
ITV 1.10pm UK ONLY  On The Ball
 Juventus on Wednesday preview, Shown at 1.25pm in Ulster region.

Repeated again article from OUR SALFORD LASS on ticket prices.
We are running this all through Easter as it convey's an important
message to "real Manchester United fans". 

Previous News:
 Brian Kidd Press conference, pic, real audio
Peter Schmeichel's last Season at United!

Next games: 
ALL Result/Fixture Index:3

Next Games:
Today! Wimbledon (A)  15.00 PL
7 European Cup Semi Juventus (H) Livein Scandinavia Canel+ 
11 FAC Semi Arsenal at Villa Park  12.30 UK Live Sky Sports Uk
17 Sheff Wed (H) 15.00 PL
21 European Cup Semi Juventus (A)
25 Leeds (A)  11.30 {am} UK PL Live Sky Sports UK 

UNITED Stats v All teams:

         Aston Villa   0-0   West Ham United       36,813

***  LEAGUE TABLE AS AT 02/04/99 ***

Pos Team                  P   W   D   L   F   A   GD  Pts
 1  Manchester United    30  18   9   3  68  31   37   63
 2  Arsenal              30  16  11   3  42  13   29   59
 3  Chelsea              29  15  11   3  44  23   21   56
 4  Leeds United         30  15   9   6  49  27   22   54
 5  West Ham United      31  13   8  10  34  39   -5   47
 6  Aston Villa          31  12   9  10  39  37    2   45
 7  Derby County         30  11  11   8  32  32    0   44
 8  Wimbledon            30  10  10  10  34  44  -10   40
 9  Liverpool            28  11   6  11  52  37   15   39
10  Tottenham Hotspur    29   9  12   8  34  34    0   39
11  Middlesbrough        29   9  12   8  39  40   -1   39
12  Newcastle United     30  10   8  12  38  41   -3   38
13  Sheffield Wednesday  30  10   5  15  35  33    2   35
14  Leicester City       28   8  10  10  28  37   -9   34
15  Coventry City        30   8   7  15  31  42  -11   31
16  Everton              30   7  10  13  23  35  -12   31
17  Blackburn Rovers     30   7   9  14  32  42  -10   30
18  Southampton          30   8   5  17  28  56  -28   29
19  Charlton Athletic    29   6  10  13  33  40   -7   28
20  Nottingham Forest    30   4   8  18  27  59  -32   20


Date        Opposition                        Score   Pos.   Attend.
15/08/98    Leicester City           Home     D  2-2    11    55,052
22/08/98    West Ham United          Away     D  0-0    11    26,039
09/09/98    Charlton Athletic        Home     W  4-1     9    55,147
12/09/98    Coventry City            Home     W  2-0     5    55,193
20/09/98    Arsenal                  Away     L  0-3    10    38,142
24/09/98    Liverpool                Home     W  2-0     3    55,181
03/10/98    Southampton              Away     W  3-0     2    15,251
17/10/98    Wimbledon                Home     W  5-1     2    55,265
24/10/98    Derby County             Away     D  1-1     2    30,867
31/10/98    Everton                  Away     W  4-1     2    40,079
08/11/98    Newcastle United         Home     D  0-0     3    55,174
14/11/98    Blackburn Rovers         Home     W  3-2     2    55,198
21/11/98    Sheffield Wednesday      Away     L  1-3     2    39,475
29/11/98    Leeds United             Home     W  3-2     2    55,172
05/12/98    Aston Villa              Away     D  1-1     2    39,241
12/12/98    Tottenham Hotspur        Away     D  2-2     1    36,079
16/12/98    Chelsea                  Home     D  1-1     2    55,159
19/12/98    Middlesbrough            Home     L  2-3     3    55,152
26/12/98    Nottingham Forest        Home     W  3-0     3    55,216
29/12/98    Chelsea                  Away     D  0-0     3    34,741
10/01/99    West Ham United          Home     W  4-1     3    55,180
16/01/99    Leicester City           Away     W  6-2     2    22,091
31/01/99    Charlton Athletic        Away     W  1-0     1    20,043
03/02/99    Derby County             Home     W  1-0     1    55,174
06/02/99    Nottingham Forest        Away     W  8-1     1    30,025
17/02/99    Arsenal                  Home     D  1-1     1    55,171
20/02/99    Coventry City            Away     W  1-0     1    22,596
27/02/99    Southampton              Home     W  2-1     1    55,316
13/03/99    Newcastle United         Away     W  2-1     1    36,500
21/03/99    Everton                  Home     W  3-1     1    55,182


       P   Won       Drawn     Lost      For        Against    Points
Home   16  11 (69%)  4 (25%)   1 (6%)    38 (2.4)   16 (1.0)   37 (2.3)
Away   14  7 (50%)   5 (36%)   2 (14%)   30 (2.1)   15 (1.1)   26 (1.9)

Total  30  18 (60%)  9 (30%)   3 (10%)   68 (2.3)   31 (1.0)   63 (2.1)

                                         Averages per game in (brackets)


HIGHEST HOME ATTENDANCE: 27/02/99 - Southampton (55,316)
LOWEST HOME ATTENDANCE:  15/08/98 - Leicester City (55,052)
BEST WIN:                06/02/99 - Nottingham Forest (8-1)
HEAVIEST DEFEAT:         20/09/98 - Arsenal (0-3)
BEST HOME WIN:           17/10/98 - Wimbledon (5-1)
HEAVIEST HOME DEFEAT:    19/12/98 - Middlesbrough (2-3)
BEST AWAY WIN:           06/02/99 - Nottingham Forest (8-1)
HEAVIEST AWAY DEFEAT:    20/09/98 - Arsenal (0-3)

Champions League:
Group D         P  W  D  L  F  A   Pts
Bayern Munich   6  3  2  1  9  6  11   
Man United      6  2  4  0 20 11  10
Barcelona       6  2  2  2 11  9   8    
Brondby         6  1  0  5  4 18   3   

Dec  9 Brøndby         0-2  Barcelona
Dec  9 Man Utd         1-1  Bayern Munich


 Manchester Utd  2 v 0  Inter Milan
 Real Madrid     1 v 1  Dynamo Kiev
 Juventus        2 v 1  Olympiakos
 Bayern Munich   2 v 0  Kaiserslautern

**DYNAMO KIEV      2 v 0  REAL MADRID         (Agg:3-1)
OLYMPIAKOS         1 v 1  **JUVENTUS          (Agg:2-3)

Semi Final Draw to be played 7th, 21st April
Manchester United v Juventus  [OT 7/4]
Bayern Munchen v Dynamo Kiev 


Read today! Ticket price comment by OUR SALFORD LASS

Subject: *IMPORTANT* Ticket Prices REDITORIAL from OUR SALFORD LASS Martin Edwards and ticket prices It must be wonderful to be rich like our Martin. To look at ticket prices from a purely objective standpoint. To be able to say that rises are fair because our prices are below most other clubs in the Premiership. Only someone who has never had to worry about money in his life can dismiss the difficulties of thousands of genuine, committed fans the way he does. To him, an extra two pounds on the price of a ticket is nothing - to many fans who have already been priced out of the game, it might as well be two hundred pounds. To people like me, who are just about clinging on to the United bandwagon, that two pounds per game could finally be the straw that broke the camels back. I (and hundreds like me) were already worrying ourselves silly about how we are going to pay for our season tickets in less than two months time. If the cost goes up by two pounds a game, it could be impossible. If I do keep my season ticket, how do I afford cup games (11 so far this season, with another two at least coming in the next week or so)? Or do I give up going to away games? I suppose that will be the answer - I've already missed a number this season because I simply can't afford it. It's not the actual cost, Martin, that will get rid of yet more of your troublesome "traditional" fans, but the increase - is it really too difficult for someone of your intellect to understand? Or is this just what you want? A stadium full of wealthy suited gents talking into their mobile phones, with their beautifully coiffured girlfriends on their arms? Well if it is, don't start asking for atmosphere for the Euro games that earn you all that money - because there won't be anyone left to generate it. I am so angry, I can barely speak. OUR SALFORD LASS
Read today! Ticket price comment by OUR SALFORD LASS

Subject: Preview V Wimbledon United: (probable) Schmeichel, G. Neville, Irwin, Berg, Johnsen, Butt, Keane, Beckham, Blomqvist, Yorke, Cole. Subs: (from) van der Gouw, Brown, P. Neville, May, Scholes, Solskjaer, Sheringham Ryan Giggs and Jaap Stam look certain to miss United's game against Wimbledon at Selhurst Park tomorrow, but Alex Ferguson is optimistic both will be back next week in time to play two semi-finals in the space of four days. Stam twisted his ankle during a training session with Holland on Monday and was sent home to Old Trafford before Wednesday's friendly against Argentina. Giggs was forced to pull out of the Welsh squad for their European qualifier after a recurrence of a hamstring problem. Giggs will train again today after a light work-out yesterday but if he is left out tomorrow it will mean he will have missed United's last two Premiership fixtures. There is some good news on the injury front however with Jesper Blomqvist fit again after problems with ligaments in his foot, he seems certain to replace Giggs. ] David Beckham has also been given the all clear after picking up a thigh injury during last Saturday's England-Poland game. Ronny Johnsen seems certain to take over from Stam and line up with his Norwegian international partner Henning Berg at the centre of defence while Roy Keane returns to midfield. He missed United's last league game because of suspension, but was doubtful for tomorrow until he too recovered from a slight hamstring strain. United return to Premiership action following a two week international break and play Juventus in the first leg of the semi-final of the champions' League on Wednesday, then Arsenal in the FA Cup semi-final next Sunday. ****************************** WIMBLEDON v MANCHESTER UNITED Wimbledon Team News The Dons are sweating on the fitness of defender Kenny Cunningham, who has a calf strain, but quick-silver winger Gareth Ainsworth is back in the squad for the first time in four months after injury. Team (from): Sullivan, Cunningham, Kimble, Thatcher, Perry, Blackwell, Roberts, Ardley, Earle, C Hughes, Euell, Kennedy, Fear, Ainsworth, Gayle, Ekoku, Leaburn, Hartson, M Hughes, Heald. The Wimbledon View ''The way we've been playing we need something to spark us. It will be a big atmosphere, a full house against arguably the best team in the country. I know our players will raise their game'' - Robbie Earle. United Team News Jaap Stam is out after suffering a training ground ankle injury during Holland's get-together for the midweek friendly against Argentina. However, the Dutchman should be fit to face Juventus in Wednesday's Champions League semi-final. Ronny Johnsen and Wes Brown are on standby to partner Henning Berg in the centre of defence in Stam's absence against the Dons, while Ryan Giggs is also close to a comeback after three weeks out with a hamstring problem. Jesper Blomqvist is fit again after a foot injury which ruled him out against Everton two weeks ago, and will come in if Giggs fails to make it. Both Roy Keane and David Beckham have also been declared fit after injury scares. Team (from): Schmeichel, G Neville, Berg, Johnsen, Brown, Irwin, Beckham, Keane, Scholes, Cole, Yorke, Solskjaer, Blomqvist, P Neville, Butt, Sheringham, Greening, Curtis, van der Gouw. The United View "We have handled it (the chase for the treble) so far and we are strong enough - there's no question about that. I have no fears at all" - Alex Ferguson. The Stats Last season: Wimbledon 2 Man Utd 5, Man Utd 2 Wimbledon 0 Last five League matches: Wimbledon D W L L L Man Utd D W W W W Top scorers: Marcus Gayle (Wimbledon) 10, Dwight Yorke (Man Utd) 26 Match odds: H 3-1 A 4-5 D 9-4 Ref: G Barber (Pyrford)
Read today! Ticket price comment by OUR SALFORD LASS

Subject: Wimbledon travel help From: Kerry Davies Dear All, For those of you travelling down to the game on Saturday, the following may help: The best station to go to is probably Norwood Junction - the gound is 10/15 minutes from there. You go out of the station up a slight hill to the top, and turn left. Walk along there for about 7/8 mins and then turn right and you will come up to the gound in a few minutes, by the United end. Train times are: Victoria dpt - x.07 & x.37 Clapham Junction dpt - x.15 & x.45 Norwood Juntion arr - x.36 & x.06 Coming back trains leave Norwood Juntion at 23 and 53 minutes past the hour. When you get into London I would advise buying a travelcard (ask what zones you need to get to Norwood Juntion, but I would imagine 1-5 would be ok). That way you can use the tubes / trains / buses all day and will probably work out cheaper than getting return / single tickets. I think it costs about £4.20... Should you wish to pop in and say hi, I'll be in the Cherry Tree pub right outside Norwood Junction after the game. Before the game you can come and see me to pick up a copy of the brand new issue of Red News...only a pound...new issue out today... Cheers Kerry
Read today! Ticket price comment by OUR SALFORD LASS

Subject: KEANE: I'LL BE HAPPY WHEN WE HAVE EQUALLED LIVERPOOL'S EURORECORD ROY KEANE'S appetite for success should be well satisfied by now. Only Manchester United team-mates Denis Irwin and Peter Schmeichel have taken more silverware out of English football this decade. BY Mark McGuiNness But as he looks back on one of the most successful periods in the history of his club, Keane still feels disappointment. Disappointment that United have not won more this decade, disappointment that they have not yet succeeded in lifting the trophy his manager desires above all others. But more than anything else, disappointment that his team's achievements will remain in the shadows of the tremendous standards set by arch-rivals Liverpool during their own glory years. Keane desperately wants to lift the European Cup - not just for Alex Ferguson, but also because he wants to make up some ground on the record of 19 league titles and four European Cups that has been the sole source of comfort for most Anfield regulars since 1990. It is the incredible standard set by the great Liverpool team that will be at the forefront of Keane's mind when they tackle Juventus on Wednesday. It promises to be the one of the biggest weeks in Ferguson's career, and his captain wants to remind the rest of the side of the sort of targets they have now set themselves. In an interview that appears in the May edition of Total Sport, he said: "What I have done is really nothing in football terms. Yes, we have won some things, but I want to win a lot more. "You look at the Liverpool teams of the past that won seven or eight championships and a clutch of European Cups - that is what I want. We are doing all right, but there is a lot more to be won. The hunger is still there, definitely." Keane's personality does not permit him to relax and think that he has fulfilled his potential because of all his medals. No, just like his manager, he must always make the next target twice as difficult to attain as the previous success. It is this attitude which highlights just why the drive and hunger to win still burns more brightly at OId Trafford than anywhere else. But there is a little bit more to him than that. Keane's desire to succeed at whatever he does has its roots in the working class obscurity from which he was plucked in 1990. He was on the dole and living in Cork at the time and thought his chance of making it across the water had disappeared. "There was a lot of unemployment, but I don't want it to sound like a sob story," he said. "I had a very happy childhood and I loved where I lived. I still do, which is why I go back so often. I always say I am from Cork first, Ireland second." But Brian Clough's Forest gave him the chance to prove himself and he grasped it with both hands. Thrown in at the deep end for his debut - the second game of the 1990-91 season against champions Liverpool at Anfield - Keane never looked back. Ferguson beat a posse of top clubs to his signature in 1993 and the player's career really took off. "When I first talked football with Alex Ferguson, that was when I decided I would sign for United," he said. "I will never forget the first time I met the players because I had had a lot of run-ins with them from my days at Forest, especially Paul Ince, Gary Pallister and Peter Schmeichel. "It was quite difficult for me to get to know them, but then we went on a pre-season tour to South Africa and that was like the best 10 days of my life. It helped me settle in." As bedding-in periods go, Keane's was about as good as it got. They won the double twice in his first three seasons and then the championship again in 1997. The only thing that seemed to stand between Keane and a permanent place in the Old Trafford hall of fame was his infamous temperament. He has managed to curtail somewhat the madness that used to earn him so many cards, but he admits the hair-trigger temper is always bubbling away under the surface. He said: "I have lost it before and I will do it again. I suppose in those days, I did tend to hit first and then think later. Now I think before I hit. "Everybody loses their temper. It doesn't matter if you are a footballer or a solicitor. "The red mist descends and you become a different person. I don't think I am that bad, but maybe when I was younger there was a bit of that in me. If my head went, it was all or nothing." Keane really thought last season was the year when United would make the grade in Europe, but an early injury robbed them of possibly their most influential player and they ended the season empty-handed. To many, the foul on Alf Inge Haaland in a game at Elland Road that led to his injury was poetic justice. He had tried to foul the Norwegian, failed and instead damaged his cruciate knee ligaments. But Keane said: "All I did was try to stop the fellow. I didn't try to break his leg or his neck. I nearly lost my career and people say I got what I deserved. "When I was injured I spent a lot more time with my wife and children and appreciate them a lot more now. "I don't really want to publicly say that the wife and kids have settled me down because next week I might step out of line and everybody will say 'what was he going on about?', but it does help." This season, there do not appear to have been any slip-ups. The size of the squad has increased, the strikers are on form, the defence has suddenly tightened up and the goalkeeper is back to his best. But in the middle of the park there is Keane, as ever, making things happen. Former Juventus coach Marcello Lippi once described the Irishman as the 'heart and soul of United' and on Wednesday his former charges will witness him at first hand. The midfield battle between the technically superior Edgar Davids and the aggressive of Keane will be an intriguing contest. United travel to Wimbledon today in a match that should see them at least maintain their four-point cushion at the top. But on Wednesday, Europe's two biggest names meet at Old Trafford in a game that will tell us if United have what it takes to finally lift the biggest trophy of all. Keane is one yellow card away from suspension. One cannot suppress the feeling that the European Cup will only be destined for Old Trafford if he is on board for the whole journey.
Read today! Ticket price comment by OUR SALFORD LASS

Subject: ROBSON IN PRICE RAGE AT UNITED BRYAN Robson last night attacked his former club Manchester United for their ticket-pricing policy. Old Trafford fans were outraged this week when the mega-rich club jacked up admission prices across the board. Boro boss Robson said: "Clubs have got to be realistic. They have got to look at the amount of TV revenue they have coming in and not go crazy over prices. "I accept that prices should keep in line with inflation. But, in United's case, they can fill the ground all the time. "They have a waiting list, and so they can put up prices. More people will just come along and pay the price.'' Reward Robson also pointed out that, unlike United, his own club do not have to pay dividends to shareholders and that every penny through the turnstiles goes straight into transfer funds. "Some United fans are not shareholders," he explained. "But they see so much money being paid out in dividends.'' United fans have been particularly annoyed by the price-rise because supremo Martin Edwards cites players' spiralling wages as the reason. The club also announced that ?1.3million had gone towards buying luxury homes for their stars. On top of that, their Champions League games bring in almost ?7m a year from Sky. And punters believe they have been further insulted following the revelation that United's legal bill in relation to the impending BSkyB takeover is a whopping ?1.7m.
Read today! Ticket price comment by OUR SALFORD LASS

Subject: Nobby Stiles - Independent Chris Maume - Happy days for Stiles the stylish assassin A FRENCH JOURNALIST once wrote that Nobby Stiles was the best advertisement for his father's business. His father was an undertaker. Garth Crooks reminded England's greatest five-foot five-and-a-half-inch hero of this in Tuesday's Match Of Their Day, BBC2's afternoon series that is sadly approaching the end of its run. "They used say I kicked him and he buried them," he responded, teeth in and glasses on looking like a Tommy in a black and white war film. The programme's subjects have generally been interviewed in the ground they were most associated with, and although in Stiles' case there is an argument for Wembley, he was on the Stretford End with Crooks. "I used to come here with my uncle Peter and my brother," he said. "At half-time I could look out and see Glover Cables, the works team, playing over there." Though he was the bedrock of Alf Ramsey's midfield, playing in front of Jack Charlton and Bobby Moore, Matt Busby generally employed him in United's back four alongside Bill Foulkes. His eyes were opened when he played in the 1962 semi-final against Spurs (one of the host of semis United lost during the 1960s). "I was 20 at the time and I marked a fellow called John White. He gave me the biggest chasing I ever got in my life. They called him the Ghost. I learned a great lesson from him - that if you're going to play against a great player and you've going to man-mark him, you've got to sacrifice yourself for the team." And so he did for his entire career, much to the irritation of opposing fans. He enjoyed a long-lasting love-hate relationship with the Kop, dating from one of his first appearances there when he accidentally caught Tommy Lawrence, the Flying Pig, with a flying boot. His response to the outrage of the Koppites was two-fingered, as was theirs back. And on subsequent visits he would trot over before the kick-off, grinning through his two-fingered accolade. He paints some vivid pictures. "In the United dressing-room we had Paddy Crerand - he never stopped talking. Besty [George Best] would come in 10 minutes before kick-off, put his gear on and play. I never spoke to anybody." His pre-match ritual was a classic example of the obsessive-compulsive disorder that grips footballers getting ready for a game. "Put my shorts on, put my contacts in, go to the small bath, warm my feet up, dry them, put my socks on, clean the inside of my boots, put some soft soap inside them. It used to take me nearly an hour to get ready. Paddy would be saying to me, 'Come on, come on,' because he always had to be last out. 'Come on, hurry up Happy.' They called me Happy because I was such a moaner." There is some sensational footage of challenges on both sides of the laws of the game. When he did mistime a tackle, the results were usually spectacular, the pick of the programme being a tackle that turned the Spaniard, Sanchis, into a helicopter rotor. But he was sent off only twice in his career - "Though I did get a three-week holiday every Christmas" - and one of those was for remonstrating with a linesman in the first leg of the World Club Championship against Estudiantes after nearly 90 minutes of being punched, kicked, butted, gouged and spat at, mostly by Carlos Bilardo, who later took Argentina to the 1986 World Cup. I've written it before and I'll write it again (and again): Sir Alf once said that his World Cup-winning side contained four world-class players, and Stiles was one of them. So when Crooks inquired, "So how would Nobby Stiles cope with the game today?" it was impossible not to feel embarrassed for Stiles, being asked such a daft question. Far from stalking out, as he was entitled to do, he made the point that players like himself and Norman Hunter, hard but skilled, would have flourished in an era when "the percentage game only gets you so far" and "the best teams come from the back and play. I believe I would have played today." You're not joking, mate. One of the occasional benefits of being undished and uncabled is that you get to witness historic sporting moments with a random cross-section of the population. So it was that I found myself on Tuesday in a pub round the corner from Wormwood Scrubs, explaining to an engrossed knot of drinkers the basics of cricket as West Indies approached their famous victory over Australia. "The last time I watched cricket was Headingley," said one, the spitting image of the Fast Show know-all who's done it all, 30 years man and boy. "I've never seen so many people so engrossed in a cricket match," the barman said. "Well, it is one of the greatest matches in history," I told him, anxious that he should be aware of precisely what he was witnessing. "I wish they were all like that, then," he said. "Ah," I replied. "No chance."
Read today! Ticket price comment by OUR SALFORD LASS

Subject: Kids lose unbeaten record Thursday, April 01, 1999 09:09 All good things come to an end and in the case of United's Under-17 side it was their eight-month immunity to defeat, which ran out last Saturday. They had negotiated 21 Academy games without defeat until they travelled over the Pennines to meet Sheffield Wednesday at Middlewood Road. It appeared to be business as usual when Marc Whiteman put the Reds in front in the first half, but two goals from the Hillsborough lads consigned Neil Bailey's lads to the runner's-up rostrum for the first time in an Academy fixture. The defeat didn't prevent United from completing the campaign at the head of the group. The Academy play-offs begin on Saturday 10 April. The Under-19s did slightly better in Sheffield, taking a point from a 0-0 draw. The look almost certain to finish as leaders of their section. The Under-19s were also involved in a friendly when they met Norwegian touring side IFK Start at Littleton Road on Wednesday. Paul Wheatcroft gave United a 1-0 halftime lead from the penalty spot after Wayne Evans had been fouled. But the Scandinavians pulled the game out of the fire in the second half with Fredrik Hendriksen scoring two and Yngve Martinsen getting the other in a 3-1 win.
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Subject: United to stay ahead David Lacey calculates that General Ferguson's red army are primed for another title Saturday April 3, 1999 From now on, at the top of the Premiership, it is going to be a question of who blinks. The Easter weekend marks the start of a six-week gallop down the final stretch which in all probability will see Manchester United win their fifth championship in seven seasons or Arsenal retain the title for the first time in 65 years. In theory the contest is not yet a two-horse race. Chelsea may be seven points off the lead but they have a game in hand. Leeds United are nine behind but still have to play the three teams above them. Experience and statistics, however, suggest Arsenal will do well to close a four-point gap on United while Chelsea's main aim now will be to prevent Leeds finishing third and depriving them of a presence in next season's even more lucrative Champions League. True, Arsenal did win the championship last year after being 13 points adrift of Alex Ferguson's side on Boxing Day but that was only the second time in six seasons that the leaders at the beginning of April, United, failed to become champions. Norwich were the other foolish optimists, believe it or not. Arsenal supporters may be hoping the Champions League will prove a sufficient distraction at Old Trafford for Arseène Wenger's team again to steal through on the rails. Certainly United's approach today at Wimbledon, where they have won on their last four visits, will be conditioned by Wednesday's semi-final home leg against Juventus. It is hard to believe that, whatever happens in Europe, United will take their eyes off the ball in the Premiership. Nevertheless the knowledge that even coming second will still guarantee them a place in the first of the two group phases, just as if they were champions, must ease the pressure on United as they campaign on two fronts. That should be three fronts, because United meet Arsenal at Villa Park a week tomorrow in the FA Cup semi-finals. Amid the hype surrounding the Juventus match the prospect of a league and cup Double may be temporarily overlooked, yet United or Arsenal could become the first to perform the feat three times while the latter could also be the first to achieve it in successive seasons.For several seasons United have paced themselves so that important points have been gathered during the mid-winter lull in continental competitions. Broadly speaking, Ferguson's policy has been to spend the first half of the season focusing on the Champions League while keeping in touch in the Premiership. In 1995-96, when United were not in the Champions League, they took 35 points from their first 19 Premiership fixtures and 47 from their last 19, closing a 10-point gap on Newcastle. This turned out to be a trial run. When United reached the Champions League semi-finals the following season they also regained the title by taking 49 of their 75 points from their last 23 fixtures. Now 32 out of their total 63 have come from the 10 wins and two draws since losing 32 at home to Middlesbrough on December 19. It is happening too often to be a coincidence. In the league Ferguson's red army relies heavily on generals Janvier and Fevrier. Only Arsenal have seriously begun to follow suit. Last season's surge to the title has now been mirrored by the run of 10 wins and three draws since the 32 defeat at Aston Villa on December 13. This left Wenger's side sixth, seven points behind John Gregory's team who had then led the league for three months. Villa's steep decline has been blamed on losing Ugo Ehiogu to an eye injury and sharing the depression of Stan Collymore. Leagues are won or lost according to the form, fitness, quality and numbers of players available. Villa were always going to be short of bodies, and Chelsea became short after injuries to Pierluigi Casiraghi and, more importantly, Gustavo Poyet. For Arsenal the end of Dennis Bergkamp's post-World Cup torpor has stimulated their challenge and, if one man can deny United another title, it is surely him. Yet it is hard to see the prolific partnership of Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole, which has produced 31 league goals and 47 altogether, plus the awesome consistency of Roy Keane and Jaap Stam, failing to win championship medals with United. When a team can regularly have one of the Premiership's most ruthless scorers, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, sitting on the bench there must be something going for it.
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Subject: Change good as rest for United Change good as rest for United By John Drayton Saturday, April 3, 1999 Alex Ferguson believes his Manchester United international elite have returned to Old Trafford refreshed and on top of the world for the most important spell of their season so far. The Premiership leaders begin a hectic eight days at Wimbledon today before semi-finals against Juventus on Wednesday in the Champions League and Arsenal in the FA Cup next Sunday. But Ferguson believes his players have benefited from the break from domestic action after the Euro 2000 qualifiers. He said: 'I think it's been a good break for the players. 'Most of them have been away and enjoyed success with their countries and have come back full of the joys so they are all bouncing. 'Only Peter Schmeichel was on the losing side and I thought the Danes were unlucky in that one. The rest of the lads have had a good spell away and, with only one game in a fortnight, have all handled things well. 'It hasn't been a test of endurance in any respect and the English lads especially are on top of the world.'
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Subject: FERGUSON: 'HE'S CITY 'TIL I SAY' Alex Ferguson wants to see loan star Terry Cooke back at Old Trafford in a Manchester United shirt. The United boss is reluctant to part with the player, whose spell with neighbours Manchester City has boosted their hopes of promotion from the Second Division. Cooke's spell at Maine Road is due to end in the next ten days and Ferguson said: "Terry is a Manchester United player and we want him to stay a Manchester United player. There have been one or two inquiries about him which we have turned down and there has been one positive inquiry which we are considering but at the moment he is our player and we want him to stay that way." United slapped a £1.5m price tag on the winger, who has found form again after a cruciate ligament operation last year, when Bradford made a move for him before the transfer deadline. Joe Royle has made it no secret he would like to turn Cooke's three-month loan spell at Maine Road into something more permanent and Ferguson - who was happy to help out his neighbours - confesses: "City are interested in him but who wouldn't be? He is an exceptional young player and he's got a terrific future in front of him. He's overcome a nasty injury and he's buzzing at the moment and we want him to come back."
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Subject: EYEING THE OPPOSITION Friday, April 02, 1999 00:02 Manchester United scouts will close part one of their Juventus files on Saturday. The Turin giants' last match before their trip to Old Trafford is away at Empoli, the whipping boys of Serie A. The bottom club have only won three League games this season, but Juve will not be complacent after drawing 0-0 at home with the strugglers last November. They go into the Empoli game hampered by injuries to key international players. French playmaker and World Footballer of the Year Zinedine Zidane missed this week's Euro 2000 matches but he should be fit for Old Trafford. Meanwhile Alessandro Del Piero has been an almost permanent fixture on the sidelines this season. The 24-year-old, who scored in Juve's last two visits to Old Trafford, has been out for four months after injuring his knee ligaments. He will be sorely missed. Perhaps an even greater problem for Juventus is at the back of their illustrious line-up. Centre-half Paolo Montero injured his thigh in the last League match, a 1-1 draw with Roma, while Angelo Peruzzi, arguably Italy's best goalkeeper, has cartilage trouble which might require an operation. His position has recently been filled by Morgan De Sanctis, a rookie who only turned twenty last week. 36-year-old Michelangelo Rampulla might be a safer replacement in the eyes of new coach Carlo Ancelotti. He could even provide a threat to Peter Schmeichel, having once scored from a corner for Cremonese. Whoever plays in goal, they'll know from Inter Milan's experience what to expect in Manchester. No doubt United's scouts will scrutinise the Juve keeper at crosses and corners on Saturday, and report back to messrs Beckham and Giggs. Then the guessing game will begin, as Alex Ferguson, with the help of his brother Martin and chief scout Mick Brown, tries to predict the Juventus team. If he gets it right, the Boss could win another tactical bout with the Italian masters. Information is everything and we'll have more in the tense build-up to next Wednesday, 7 April.
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